Harris County's most wanted offenders highlighted at Child Abuse Prevention Month kickoff

Crime Stoppers, partners aim to increase child abuse education

HOUSTON - More than 66,000 children were victims of abuse in Texas last year — including over 6,000 in Harris County alone. The national statistics are even more heartbreaking, which is why Crime Stoppers of Houston and various community leaders have teamed up for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Crime Stoppers of Houston launched its “Safe Community” child abuse awareness initiative Friday at a joint press conference with The Children’s Assessment Center. The 12 most-wanted child abuse fugitives in Harris County were also announced.

Speakers included Children’s Assessment Center Executive Director Elaine Stolte, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, Crime Stoppers of Houston Executive Director Rania Mankarious, Harris County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ron Hunter and Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan. The event highlighted how education and outreach play a key role in the prevention of child abuse.

Texas and U.S. child abuse by the numbers:

  • In 2015, Texas had 66,721 confirmed victims of child abuse/neglect, including 6,360 in Harris County.
  • In 2015, Texas suffered 171 child abuse/neglect related deaths, including 25 in Harris County.
  • In Texas, more than three children die from abuse or neglect on average every week; 182 children are confirmed as victims daily.
  • More than seven children are maltreated every hour.
  • In the United States, four children die from child abuse every day; 27 children die from poverty every day; 689 babies are born with inadequate prenatal care every day; and 13,700 children are abused and neglected every day.
  • In 2013, an estimated 3.5 million referrals involving approximately 6.4 million children were made to Child Protective Services in the United States; 80 percent suffered neglect, 18 percent suffered physical abuse, 9 percent suffered sexual abuse and 9 percent suffered psychological abuse.
  • Of those 6.4 million children more than 25 percent were under 3 years old and 45 percent were under age 5.
  • Researchers estimate that one-third of abused/neglected children will grow up to abuse their own children.
  • Most abuse occurs due to unreasonable expectations of children’s behavior or actions.
  • One in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys suffer sexual abuse by their 18th birthday.
  • The median age for reported abuse is 9 years old.
  • Forty percent of confirmed cases of child abuse involve the use of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Ninety-five percent of child abuse occurs by someone known to the victim.

Crime Stoppers seeks to facilitate conversations that connect advocates and community members working to prevent child abuse throughout April.

For more information on child abuse, to download child abuse resources, including the flier "Reporting Recognized and Disclosed Child Abuse and Neglect," or to get involved with Crime Stoppers of Houston, visit www.crime-stoppers.org.

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